Djam Karet - Burning The Hard City

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 128
Format: CD
Total Time: 68:04:00

Whilst they don't beat around the bush stating they all very much like Ozric Tentacles, our friends Djam Karet have created a sound of their own, a sound which can truly be called unique! These four Americans deliver superb instrumental music which can be put under the banner "early Floyd meets complex King Crimson" (and they lived happy ever after and had many babies, one of which they called Djam Karet ?).

Suspension And Displacement and Burning The Hard City (originally released in 1991) are two different CDs, yet they complement each other. The first is calmer, sketching wide planes and disconsolate landscapes. The band stand behind Peter Gabriel's saying in "Across The Wire?: "I speak in pictures, not in words." There is a "worst case scenario" atmosphere present all over the album, especially by means of the minimalistic effect of dark sounds in the long epics. Burning The Hard City on the other hand is like an antipode of the first. It's like day against night. The entire album is more rhythmic and melodic than the first and leans much more towards jazz improvisations. Osbourne's repetitive funky bass playing forms the strong backbone for "At The Mountains Of Madness? where guitar improvisation is THE word! In "Feast Of Ashes? the guitar leans towards the better parts of Jadis' career, whilst it's once again the bass stealng the show in "Topanga Safari." [One of this editor's favourites - ed.] There are also more sound colourings, such as in "Grooming The Psychosis." The album closes with the title track "Burning The Hard City? which has Chuck Oken Jr. hit those electronic drums so hard it almost wakes your neighbours! Sure there are some Floyd influences as well here, before the guitar turns towards great blues. But then the acoustic drums set the pace for an intriguing finale bursting out of its seams with great finds and adrenaline driven riffs.

For those of you who have been longing for something completely new then Djam Karet might be the solution! Djam Karet: a name to write on all of those Post-It memo notes and stick them all over your room ? and your mind!

At The Mountains Of Madness (9:17) / Province 19 : The Visage Of War (8:13) / Feast Of Ashes (10:46) / Grooming The Psychosis (11:57) / Topanga Safari (5:57) / Ten Days To The Sand (11:07) / Burning The Hard City (12:07)

Gayle Ellett - electric 7-string & 6-string guitars, keyboards, taped effects, percussion
Mike Henderson - electric and acoustic 6-string & 12-string guitars, effects, percussion
Chuck Oken Jr. - drums, synthesizer programming, sequencing, electronic percussion
Henry J. Osborne - electric 5-string bass, keyboards, percussion

No Commercial Potential (1985) (Out-of-print)
Kafka's Breakfast (1987) (Out-of-print)
The Ritual Continues (1989)
Reflections In The Firepool (1989)
Burning The Hard City (1991/2000)
Suspension and Displacement (1991/2000)
Collaborator (1994)
The Devouring (1997)
Still No Commerical Potential (1998)
Live at Orion (1999)
New Dark Age (2001)
Ascension (2001)
#1 (2001) (via band only)
#2 (2001) (via band only)
Afghan: Live At The Knitting Factory (2001) (via band only)
A Night For Baku (2003)
Live At NEARfest 2001 (2004)
No Commercial Potential (expanded) (2004)
Recollection Harvest (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1083
Language: english


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